Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yearning for Problems


My spouse is a mental health counselor, so that means I partially live in a world where mental health problems are constantly focused on. After having lived in this environment for three years, I've come to realize that I don't have any mental health issues. I would have said that timidly two and a half years ago, but I'm more certain of this today than ever, and I can't emphasize enough at how bold of a claim that is in a room full of therapists. It's almost an invitation for them to prod you. Thus, I've only said this out loud twice.

I was looking at /r/preppers on reddit. It's a forum, and the topic is being prepared for when a part or all of society breaks down for whatever reason. There's something about survival situations that many are attracted to, which is ironic because we live in a fairly well-oiled machine. It's comfortable most of the time, and things work predictably. But, tying this into mental health. For most of human history our problems and routines were laid out for us. Go kill something, clean it, don't get eaten while doing it. Tend to your plants. Build a fire. Fix your shelter, etc. Furthermore, I also believe in the adage that "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop." and that that's a large contributor to the prevalence of mental problems today.

There's a part of me that keeps a bookmark in the fragility of modern society. This gives me perspective on "invented problems" vs. "real problems". I think it's one of the reasons I regard myself as having no mental health issues. Now, before you go think that I'm getting all uppity on you. I'm certainly not perfect. I struggle with procrastination and motivation like anyone, but I usually come through. Beyond that, I feel quite the blank slate. Whenever I feel some type of neurosis developing I imagine myself back in the woods, because a man in the woods doesn't have time to worry about this shit! Right? Someone may say "Well, that's because we're more specialized and sophisticated." and this is the point where our sophistication starts working against us.

Now, do I know how to find clean water? No. My family and I are fucked! Do I know how to hunt animals? No. Do I know what plants I can eat and not eat? No. No, no, no, no. I can play you a song, and barter. I figure when the shit hits the fan my trade will skyrocket in value, because there will be no more Pandora or Spotify and everybody will still continue to love music. Anyhow, I'm getting side tracked.

You have to have time in order to worry about your nose, your belly, your bald spot, whether or not your food has a significant amount of sulforaphane in it, whether or not people understand you and see the light in you. "You know what? I'm not sure if my mom loved me enough..." It takes idle time to get unhealthily obsessed with this or that, assuming you're not fighting for your fucking life in the rat race. There are indeed real problems that people have in our society, but unfortunately the solutions are often abstract. If you're hungry, you want some food, first you have to go to work and do something completely unrelated to food, then sit at home and wait for a paycheck. Cash it, take your paper, and go get you an apple. There's more steps in there than that, but you get the idea.

Hunters and gatherers were born into a tribe who knew their environment extremely well, so their problems were simple. This is what our biology is made for. It isn't made for continual profound changes in multiple arenas. Nor is it accustomed to sitting on our ass as much as we do, so we have to invent gyms to aimlessly move our bodies for the sole purpose of moving our bodies, yet another abstraction. This is why I don't understand why everyone wants their laptop to be so light, "Give me the fifteen pounder!"

So, we're accustomed to having problems, and if we don't? We'll damn well invent some. But, inventing your own problems is like recreational misery. If that's the case, you can easily go find some real problems. Like, go clean your room for example. Cleaning is supremely therapeutic, but many people in such royal positions as ourselves can't be bothered. If you live in my zip code, you're royal in relation to the world at large.

What we need is applied problems. They have to have some consequence in making life, "the world" a better place. And don't let perfection ruin a good thing, I know that procrastination trick like the back of my hand.



During my wife and I's first couples counseling session I stated that most of my problems are logistical. That there are things I'm trying to achieve and there are some obstructions, or contradictions I'm unable to reconcile. But, they're there, like a Rubik's Cube on a table, and not internal. In this case, the only internal problem would be that I'm too dumb to figure out a solution. You can't blame me for being dumb, can you?






So it seems that many people are yearning for problems.





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Music In the 21st Century


I heard someone say they're tired of hearing musicians say "There's nothing good being produced anymore."

I'm guilty of this to a degree. Albeit, I've usually loved about one album per year, historically. I don't mind that, as long as I LOVE at least one (and of course not that I heard them all)

What I've found increasing since 2007 is the feeling coming through new songs. As I give them a-go I've found myself thinking "This is written as if they know it's not going to last." There's a feeling of half-assery, that they know it's ephemeral (especially when it comes to lyrics). And I don't blame them if that's the case, because personally I find it harder to excellently craft a song that listeners are going to chew, love, and spit out within a week. However... I've found a bright side to this. My music is getting further away from pop-music standards. Since, after listening to Melanie De Biasio's Blackened Cities it dawned on me that the limitations of radio and manufacturing no longer exist. (Side note: The three minute song format didn't arise because it's inherently appealing, it happened because that's about what would fit on a 45 record.) And, the internet is the busiest street corner ever, people who like what I'm doing are bound to walk by.






Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Most Complex Casino






It's possible that I don't know what I'm talking about concerning this, but when it comes to politics it's possible that nobody, not even those who originate policy know what they're talking about concerning its real world implications—as it seems that any policy will have unintended consequences for some group of people or other.

Nonetheless, the overall tone of the Trump administration seems old-fashion in a not good way. Its idea of bringing back coal jobs like it's 1930. And, the notion that one man is gonna waltz in there like a fast talking 1950's Hudsucker style entrepreneur and revamp the whole thing like it's a casino seems out of touch.

Towards the onset of the 21st century, many people online were discussing globalization as a bad thing, meanwhile those who were for it seemed to be the wealthy business and political magnates. Now, the populous seems about 50/50 on it. From my perspective, it also appears that the concept of Globalization for the masses didn't come into awareness through international business dealings, but through social media, more specifically, primarily becoming aware of the world through social media.
I don't think people saw it coming that the consent for globalization was to come through the likes of Mark Zuckerberg's facebook. From social media and the internet at large people have learned that yes, there are people in parts of Syria living through what looks like the apocalypse. People became aware that Chinese workers making iPhones for us started committing suicide due to their harsh work conditions. Through social media we learned that what we do here, affects what happens over there, and vice/versa in nearly real time.

But despite the awareness of globalization, people are still disenfranchised when it comes to the business dealings, not the things that will affect them morally, but what will affect their workplace, environment, and finance. The people can't compete with those whose careers it is to draft business deals with foreign nations or domestically, nor can they reliably affect instances when the military is used to strategically secure a resource under the cover of a noble slogan.

Business as we've come to know it is ultimately about the bottom-line. Even when a business takes on a humanitarian venture it's still about how that will affect its bottom line. I don't know the guy personally, but I wager that this is what Trump the businessman is accustomed to being concerned with, and not necessarily how it's going to affect people. If this is the case, now he's dealing with the most complex casino in known history. The situation is dicey.






Notes:

• A compelling podcast episode comparing US healthcare with other first world nations: http://www.dancarlin.com/product/common-sense-314-unhealthy-numbers/

• Photo credit: http://www.icosystem.com/simplifying-the-complexity-of-healthcare/


     Follow Goliath on twitter.


Thursday, March 09, 2017

Ridiculous Politics


(And Social Media)


(Image unrelated. Screw you guys, I don't have time.)


When George W. Bush was president I felt like I was locked in a Texas saloon, in a small town, and W was being belligerent to everyone, but I couldn't do anything about it because he was the son of the town mayor. - As it goes with these things, I'm sure that if I ran into him today and conversed he'd seem like an OK guy. When you meet people who've been written and talked about, seldom are they the boogieman that the media made them out to be. You can say "Hi" and chat with your opposition party neighbor just fine, so long as you guys don't talk about politics.

The Bush years were my introduction to politics in media, before then, I didn't care. Those years were also the first to have the internet going at full force. Social media was already born, and more-and-more newspapers were taking to the internet.

Within those years I saw millions protest war while being ignored by TV news, the truth seemed to be on the internet (Between the fat folds of delicious BBQ flavored crazy talk, of course). I also saw the TV turn into a military hardware show while gearing the people up for the Iraq War A.K.A. "Operation Enduring Clusterfuck". Many contradictions were revealed to me with the advent of the internet.

Why am I saying all this? I originally came here to tell you how I'm tired of, but more importantly, how unproductive it seems to point out how "idiotic" and "ironic" politicians are being.

During the Bush and Obama years, the "smart one's" were online, meanwhile the fools got their info from television. But, I've watched the tide turn twice in my lifetime. During the Bush years it seemed the majority of the country disliked Bush's policies, during Obama the republicans pointed out what an "idiot" he was, and now we're back to The Left pointing out the ironies of Turmp's presidency.

I believe that in today's world "All 'great' men are bad men". Meaning that they all have to do awful things as people in positions of supreme power. 

But, as for the rest of us. Pointing out how ridiculous and ironic our leaders are isn't all that useful. I realized the lack of utility in this approach during Bush's second term. I even considered that perhaps it was a government tool to let people think they were smarter than their leader, because I was in disbelief at what was happening politically during those years, it was so surreal.

Perhaps if we refrain from being reactive, and conserve our energy for something proactive we can cause change more effectively. 


P.S. Check out my podcast: http://atlanticradio.blogspot.com/





(Trump is accusing Obama of wiretapping him - Adele started her song over at the Grammy's performance - Liberals, instead of the usual Conservatives hate Russia now)


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Integrity Keeps the Cloth We're Made Of



The above image is the interior of a battleship. I looked for a free stock photo for this post, but didn't have much time. The pic is cool as hell nonetheless.


In case you haven't heard. Donald Trump is the president of the worlds foremost military power. I'm certainly generally Left of Center when it comes to politics. The rundown for what's happened the past couple of months goes like this. 1. Trump won the election, 2. The Left lost their shit while The Right kept their Trump signs in their yard for well-after the election. 3. Protests and some riots broke out. People were protesting Trump in general, and his administration's travel ban. 4. From here, it looks like The Left all of a sudden hates Russia. And my last point is why I'm writing this.

I thought we wanted to be friends with Russia? I don't know Putin. I don't know Trump, Hillary, or any politician really (But I felt I knew Bernie Sanders due to the integrity of his record, and he spoke forthright about specific ideas.) So this isn't about Trump, but rather about: How did The Left suddenly grow a shell that doesn't want to have peaceful relations with Russia? Didn't the "They're commies!" stance belong to The Right for like the past... Forever?

According to Business Insider, they said that according to Fox News, who said that according to a facebook post. Just kidding. According to Business Insider: Trump, in an interview with a guy whose name rhymes with "Oh really?" the interviewer called Vladimir Putin a "killer" to which Trump responded "We've got a lot of killers. Boy, you think our country's so innocent? You think our country's so innocent?" 

Now, isn't that last bit what we on The Left have been shouting from the rooftops part time since like... Forever??

I've watched this kind of thing happen a few times within my lifetime. A Republican gets into office and all the outrage and conspiracy theorists arise from The Left. Then a Democrat gets into office and The Right starts making goofy accusations about the president being born in Kenya, and that his wife is a man.

And for the record. The ONLY presidential candidate I've ever truly liked was Bernie Sanders for reasons I've stated above.



Feel free to check out my podcast: atlanticradio.blogspot.com